In both chapters one and two, the first verses, we are told that Isaiah saw the word.
So I got to thinking about that yesterday, and I wondered: Did God speak to Isaiah audibly? Did he actually see the words that God spoke, or did he have visions that were both visual and audio?
I looked up the words. That’s always a good thing to do. My favorite source is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Terry gifted me with this treasure at Christmas several years ago, and it’s one of my all-time-favorite gifts he’s ever given me. Not very romantic, you say? Well, that all depends on how you perceive love, I guess, and this gift told me that he pays close attention to what is important to me. It spoke love to me.
Anyway. First, I looked up word in both passages, and found it to be the same Hebrew word in both. There are many options as to the exact meaning, so you have to put it into the context of the scripture. Here are the meanings that make the most sense to me:
Word: a matter (as spoken of) or thing; a judgment; an oracle, prophecy, or promise.
Saw: to gaze at; mentally to perceive; contemplate; specifically, to have a vision of or to behold; look, prophesy, see.
It would seem, then, that the answer to my questions is that God caused Isaiah to both see and hear the word (prophecy, vision) that he was to then share with the people of Israel. Maybe it was kind of like seeing a movie, or watching television. We won’t know for sure until we get to heaven, but what is clear is that being a prophet was a special gift and calling from God. It was important, and the people needed to listen and take heed.
Today, we have God’s Word in the form of the Bible. We, too, need to listen and take heed.